McScam: Report Says Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game to Steal Millions

McDonald's (Michel Curi / Flickr / CC / Cropped)
Michel Curi / Flickr / CC / Cropped

An explosive Saturday report about an ex-Georgia cop’s scheme to rig the McDonald’s Monopoly game in his favor for 12 years is the talk of social media, with some users calling for a film adaptation of the story.

The Daily Beast released a report Saturday detailing how Jerome Jacobson conducted a massive scam to steal more than $24 million in cash and prizes from 1989 to 2001 and carried out the scheme while working as a private security officer overseeing the manufacturing of McDonald’s game pieces.

Jacobson’s job was to oversee the printing process and was reportedly asked to hide the winning game pieces in McDonald’s packaging factories all over the U.S.

His scheme began in 1989 when he gifted his brother-in-law a winning game piece for a $25,000 cash prize in 1989 “to see if he could” get away with it.

Since then, Jacobson amassed a crime network full “of mobsters, psychics, strip club owners, convicts, drug traffickers, and even a family of Mormons, who had falsely claimed more than $24 million in cash and prizes,” according to the Daily Beast.

But the FBI eventually caught on to Jacobson’s scheme in 2000, and opened an investigation into him. In 2001, the FBI enlisted the help of McDonald’s to create a Monopoly promotion that would expose Jacobson’s fraudulent practices. The operation was a success, and authorities arrested Jacobson and his cronies on charges of mail fraud and conspiracy in the summer of that year.

A judge ordered Jacobson to serve more than three years behind bars and pay back $12.5 million, but the trial did not make headlines because it began right before 9/11, according to the Daily Beast.

The Daily Beast’s report went viral over the weekend, with many tweeting out their thoughts on the piece using the hashtags #McScam and #McHeist. Many users wanted to know more about the story, and some users even called for a film adaptation of the story:

Even Jeff Maysh, the author of the article, admitted in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) on Tuesday that many on Twitter think his story has the potential to go to Hollywood.

“Does this story have movie potential?” one user asked.

“Everyone seems to be saying that on Twitter…!” Maysh responded.

As for Jacobson, Maysh said the former grifter is now 76 years old and “living a quiet life in Georgia.”

“His step-brother told me he is very passionate about the environment,” Maysh posted on Reddit Tuesday. “Remember, he did send a million dollars to the St. Jude’s Children’s hospital, so he can’t be all bad.”

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